Chicago cops forbidden to chase suspects on foot in city with multiple urban campuses

Chicago Police Department officers are no longer permitted to pursue suspects who flee a scene on foot, a decision catching urban colleges in the crossfire.

Chicago is home to more than 20 colleges and universities and has experienced a 23% increase in criminal complaints since 2020.

Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers are no longer permitted to pursue suspects who flee a scene on foot, a decision catching urban colleges in the crossfire.

The new policy was announced last Tuesday and lays out new directives police must follow. The New York Post reports that the new policy will go into effect this summer. 

“People may avoid contact with a member for many reasons other than involvement in criminal activity,” the policy reads.

Suspects who have or may commit a felony, a Class A misdemeanor, or a severe traffic offense are exempt from the rule.

"The safety of our community members and our officers remains at the core of this new foot pursuit policy," Superintendent David O. Brown explained. "We collaborated internally with our officers and externally with our residents to develop a policy we all have a stake in."

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Chicago is home to over 20 colleges and universities within the city limits, raising red flags for campus safety. 

City crime conflates with the campus communities as, oftentimes, these campuses are in the heart of the urban landscape. 

Campus Reform mapped the distance between three Chicago campuses to nearby landmarks.

The University of Chicago, for example, is a 3-minute walk to Washington Park. It is also within walking distance of numerous museums including the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center, the Smart Museum of Art, and The Renaissance Society.

The University of Illinois Chicago is within walking distance of two tourist attractions: Willis Tower and the Chicago Bean. 

It is also off the cuff of Grant Park and an eleven-minute walk from The Art Institute of Chicago. City Hall routes a nine-minute walk.

The Chicago Police Department is located midway between the universities and is approximately 3.5 miles from each campus.

Chicago State University (CSU), located on the south side of town, is less than two miles from Pullman National Monument and a 45-minute walk to the Harborside International Golf Center.

The nearest Chicago Police Department to CSU is a 33-minute walk.

Crime in the Windy City has spiked in the last year. 

During the second week of June, the CPF received 1,216 crime complaints. This was a 30% increase from last year. 

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Additionally, robberies have increased by 21% in one year. Burglary increased by 31%, motor vehicle theft increased by 40%, and theft is up a staggering 65%.

CPD has had its hands tied since the anti-police movement of 2020. Defund the Police efforts were largely championed by mayor Lori Lightfoot, who proposed an $80,000 budget cut for law enforcement in 2020.

Since 2020, the city's criminal complaints rose 23%.

Lightfoot changed her tune in 2021 and reinstated increased police funding into the 2022 budget.

Campus Reform has contacted the CPD and each university for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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